Pit Call Lifts Newman to 12th-Place Finish in Pocono LONG POND, Pa. (Aug. 1, 2010) -- A strategic pit call late in the race by crew chief Tony Gibson pushed Ryan Newman to a 12th-place finish in Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint...
Pit Call Lifts Newman to 12th-Place Finish in Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. (Aug. 1, 2010) -- A strategic pit call late in the race by crew chief Tony Gibson pushed Ryan Newman to a 12th-place finish in Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup event at Pocono Raceway.
With rain threatening when the final caution was waved on Lap 166 of 200, Newman's No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet was positioned in 24th place. What added to the suspense following the caution was that NASCAR red-flagged the race to clean up debris following an accident involving Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler.
After a 30-minute delay the lead-lap cars came down pit road and that's when Gibson called for fuel only, which vaulted Newman to eighth place in track position.
Shortly after the pit stop, rain started to fall, forcing NASCAR to once again red-flag the race. The event was finally restarted on Lap 179 after a number of laps were run under yellow to help dry the track.
In the closing 21 laps, Newman -- without fresh tires -- was able to hold his own on the tricky 2.5-mile track and bring home his 10th top-15 finish of the season.
"Tony (Gibson) made a great call at the end which resulted in a decent finish for the U.S. Army team," said Newman, who qualified fifth. "We struggled with track position and needed to take the gamble. It was another strong comeback as we continue our Soldier-like fight for a berth in the Chase."
Speaking of the driver standings, Newman remained 15th in points and is 138 markers from 12th, the final Chase position. There are five pre-Chase races remaining.
"We're ready to battle in the next five races and do everything possible to get this Army team in the Chase," said Gibson. "Regarding the pit call today for fuel only on the final stop, it was the only decision at the time. Sometimes it doesn't work in your favor, but today it did. It was another effort that our Army Strong Soldiers can be proud of."
Newman's teammate, Tony Stewart, scored a second-place finish after starting the 500-mile race on the pole. Stewart gained one position in the standings and currently sits in eighth place.
The race winner was Greg Biffle, who gave Roush Fenway Racing its first win of the season. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Stewart, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin.
The Sprint Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Sunday (Aug. 8) for the second and final road race of the season.
-source: penske racing